Signs should use words. Then color as a redundant cue. (Some people are color-blind.) Then icons. (Most icons aren’t as recognizable as .)
Use walls, end-caps, shelves, and the floor. While it doesn’t help the color-blind, I love the cue of colored tape on the ground I can follow from here to my destination. Well-designed maps, with You Are Here marked, a legend, and an index. A floor directory at each entrance, and in every elevator. Single-floor directories at the top and bottom of every escalator. A grid system.
If possible, when an item could logically be located in more than one place, put copies in both. If you can’t, put a sign in one place that directs customers to the other. This is especially useful when you have to follow a system that may not make sense to them. Continue reading